I have this in my inputs.conf
Can anyone help me understand what are the " ^ " and the " $ " are used for?
These are known as anchors. They do not match any characters, they match a position. ^ matches at the start of the string, and $ matches at the end of the string.
Be careful though. In multiline strings, they can also match the beginning or end of a line and the ^ inside a square bracket can be used as a not as in [^a-z] which means not the characters a to z
I think I know what this is
can you tell me what the difference is in these two lines
These are on two different systems and I am not getting the same logs from both
Should I take out the " ^ " symbol?
Yes the top line will match the words "messages", "secure" or "auth" anywhere in the file or folder name. The bottom will only match if it is at the beginning of the source.
As most sources start with the drive or a slash (i.e. c:\ or /), it is unlikely to match those.